The Detroit Lions are in a tough situation, a situation that is unique to the team this year. That is they have a plethora of talent and the option to bring back a talented player who was suspended but would have to make a cut somewhere on the team.
Defensive end Armonty Bryant was brought onto the team from the Cleveland Browns at the beginning of last season, with a suspension over his head for a drug infraction while with the Browns. He was released from the Brown’s last October and immediately claimed off waivers by the Lions.
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Bryant served his suspension after playing four games for Detroit. He came back in December and suffered a season ending knee injury. Bryant was resigned in March on a one year contract, but by mid summer he was again suspended for the first four weeks of this season. That suspension has finished and he is now eligible to come back onto the active roster. Is he worth bringing back?
In the five games he played last season he recorded three sacks, 4.5 tackles, and a forced fumble. These are pretty impressive numbers for a player changing systems and teams. Bringing him back on the roster could bolster the team’s pass rush even more than it already is. Bryant is good in substitution packages, which plays into the strength of the Lions defensive line.
While Bryant could be an asset to the team, bringing him back would mean cutting someone from the team. The biggest strength this team has is their depth. The bottom of the roster is filled with players that could start for other teams. It will be a difficult decision coming up with who gets let go, also if it will be someone from the defensive line or from another position group.
From the defensive lineman group, two players jump out that could possibly be cut to make room for Bryant. Jeremiah Valoaga is still eligible for the practice squad and could benefit from more time to better develop. The Lions had recently brought back George Johnson, whom they had held out on until he had lost some weight. He hasn’t made much impact in the two games he has been in Detroit, and might not be as valuable to the team at this time as Bryant.
As of Thursday, the Lions have brought Bryant back in to practice but haven’t made any decisions as to bring him back on the roster for Sunday.